Photo Credit:  Evan Eisenstadt

John and Carmel Stewart are retired school teachers who currently live on the Lake Simcoe waterfront in Innisfil, Ontario.

Avid scuba-divers, they’ve traveled the world to explore underwater wonderlands. With a move to quieter surroundings in mind for their future home base, they have looked across Canada. 

“I’m from Calgary, and Carmel is from Admiral’s Cove, Newfoundland,” John says. “We were very open to any location when deciding on our retirement destination, as long as it was on the water.”

Not long ago, while touring Gananoque, they saw a sign for Stone & South on the River, CaraCo Development Corporation’s community of exclusive dockside residences on the St. Lawrence, and decided to research the possibilities. “We hadn’t thought of a condo before,” he added, “but the more we looked, the more we realized this development fulfilled our requirements. We made up our minds to purchase before we even went into their Presentation Centre. They would have had to talk us out of buying!”

For the past 39 years, the Stewarts’ home sits on property John’s grandfather bought in the 1930s. “When we moved to Innisfil, nearby Barrie’s population was 34,000, and now its 147,000+,” John says. “The area is growing so quickly that we  decided we wanted a smaller municipality out of the Toronto zone of influence. Plus, we have family in Kingston, so moving to Gananoque is ideal.”

The Stewarts own an 18’ runabout that they use for diving on Lake Simcoe, but they plan on broadening their water craft horizons once they move to Stone & South. “We’d like to get a larger boat with sleeping facilities,” John says. “We’ll be able to cruise up and down the Rideau to where our niece lives.”  Carmel says her great-niece is already planning sleepovers with her friends while their great-nephew is looking forward to some fishing trips.

The couple purchased a 1,547 square-foot Wolfe Island suite on the fifth floor. “We will have fantastic riverfront views,” Carmel says. “The suite has two balconies: a wraparound in front and one off the bedroom.” She and John travel frequently often for three months at a time, so knowing their condominium will be cared for while they are away adds a carefree aspect to their lifestyle. In 2019, they wintered in New Zealand where they have lived and taught and also travelled in Australia.

“We’re water people and we’ve done a bit of diving in and around Kingston and Presqu’ile,” John says, “but we’re older, and it’s  too cold. We’re fair-weather divers now and love spending time in the Caribbean and Pacific for scuba diving.”

Water sports are not the only aspect attracting the Stewarts’ to their new condo. “We’re delighted to have the Thousand Islands Playhouse right next door and a spa around the corner at the Gananoque Inn,” Carmel says. “There is a certain freedom knowing we can walk to so many nearby amenities.”

The couple had not heard about CaraCo Development Corporation when they selected Stone & South on the River. “As we chatted with people in the Kingston area, we heard lots of positive feedback about the solid reputation of this established family-owned builder and developer,” Carmel says. “That was very encouraging and very important to us as purchasers in today’s market.”

Stone & South suite prices begin from $494,900. For more information, stop by the Discovery Centre at 5 King Street East in Gananoque, call 613-876-2524 or visit